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Has your favorite whisky gone up in price?

2 16

Rigmorole started a discussion

I've noticed that whisky prices have been going up, up, up in the past ten years. How about you? Do you remember how much your favorite bottle cost five years ago? Ten?

In my reviews, I tend to "go there" when it comes to price. Many reviewers on this site kind of skirt around the issue. I don't see why.

For me, price is a component of why we purchase a whisky. For instance, I just reviewed Laddie Ten, and, yes, price does affect my opinion of it. Laddie Ten costs $65 in Oregon. That's a lot for a ten year. Many very good twelve years cost quite a bit less.

Price matters to many of us. It seems to me that a lot of the gimmicks and advertising campaigns like "space scotch" (Galileo) and the like are just excuses to charge too much money.

I used to be in advertising. I was a copywriter, so I know the purpose of advertising, tag lines, body copy, merchandizing, etc. As a consumer these days (who left advertising twenty years ago) whisky "campaigns" are starting to get on my nerves. I just want a great bottle of scotch at a great price. Is that too much to ask?

Product placement is yet another type of advertising. I've been watching old episodes of "Dexter" over the past few weeks and all of the Glenfiddich product placement with different colored labels is getting really old. And guess what? Glenfiddich pays for those placement spots and passes the buck on to the consumer who buys the product. Lately, I've been wondering how much advertising and expenses like that influences the cost of a bottle of scotch.

Often, it's the higher volume scotches that do it because their budget is higher, but when enough high volume brands bump up their prices, then the "little guys" who thrive on a good product and word of mouth also tend to bump up their prices, especially when their scotches get mentions in The Whisky Bible, which jacks up the prices of the brands that get top mention, like Old Pulteney 21, for example.

Prices have been going up more than the value of the US dollar has been going down (in my country).

How about the relative value of your currency (wherever you live) in relation to your favorite bottle of scotch?

11 years ago

16 replies

@Bourbondork
Bourbondork replied

Has the price gone up????? Does the pope wear a funny hat? Hell yes they've gone up. People ask why I buy so much whiskey (multiples) and I say "it's never cheaper than it is today." Over the years I've done something called "dusty hunting"; hunt for out of production bourbon from distilleries that are long gone. In most cases the price on the bottle hasn't changed in decades. I've purchased 1.75L bottles of Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond for $14, 500ml bottles of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond for $5. I know I'm stating the obvious, but prices will never decrease. Not only is demand up but transportation costs are way up and taxes are up, etc. For those that love Pappy Van Winkle 15 year, there was a time I could purchase those bottles for $35. Last ebay prices were running in the $350 range and full retail is about $130+ in some areas (if you're lucky enough to find it). As we collectively purchase our whiskey in out years, QPR becomes more and more of a factor which will certainly dictate what you keep on your bar or in your bunker.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@teebone673
teebone673 replied

One of my favorites, Balvenie 15, has gone up drastically in the last year or so. When I first bought a bottle about 2 years ago it was $67.99. Then the next bottle i purchased was $74.99. And the last bottle I bought about a month ago was $89.99. That's ridiculous IMO.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@FMichael
FMichael replied

@rigmorole Great topic!

Since I began my journey of whisky exploration back in 2006 I too have noticed a considerable hike in prices these past 2 years in particular, and when I do find a good deal I'll buy 2, or 3 bottles.

@Bourbondork I hear ya - as I already mentioned I'll stock up on a few bottles when the price is right, and who could blame us? I cut my teeth on my mother's Balvenie 10 yr Founders Reserve, and when I heard it was being discontinued - I purchased the last 4 bottles from a local liquor store at $30 per bottle...A few years later I had seen bottles going for $100 plus on ebay (back when sales of alcohol were permitted).

@teebone673 I too am a big fan of the Balvenie range (arguably my favorite distillery)...Not more than 3, or 4 years ago the 15 yr Single Barrel was roughly $50 per bottle; now in most stores it's $75.

Just yesterday after I dropped my 2nd eldest son off at speech therapy - my other 2 boys fell asleep on the way home so I took a "road trip" to a liquor store 35 miles away...Just as I had hoped they had some great pricing on some single malts; $29 for the Aberlour 12 yr, $30 for the Glenmorangie 10 yr, and above all they had my beloved Balvenie 15 yr Single Barrel for $55 so I picked up 2 bottles...The Balvenie 14 yr Caribbean Cask was also reasonably priced at $54 so I purchased 1 bottle as well.

Talking to the owner of the store he confirmed what many of us already know; the popularity of single malt scotch (as well as blends) has created a demand in which the distillers can command more for their product.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

Not by much my go to stores are in a college town so all of the good stuff is always there. If you don't move a lot of a particular whisk(e)y you sure won't raise the prices in reaction.

11 years ago 0

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

To add on: That was in reference to the selling in my particular area not in general.

11 years ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael replied

@GotOak91 You're fortunate that the students in your area are more than willing to drink Coors Lite instead of Lagavulin 16 yr.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

@FMichael Lol either one works for them or me for that matter (sometimes, depends on my intentions :))But yes the best is left behind.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@GotOak91
GotOak91 replied

@FMichael Even the microbrews don't hurt the wallet much.

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Onibubba
Onibubba replied

Balvenie 15, Yamazaki, Talisker 18, all Ardbegs...I like all of these, and all have shot up dramatically in the last year. My solution? I buy what I like right NOW. I buy it in bulk whenever the price is acceptable, and I hoarde the hell out of it. It is NEVER going to be cheaper than it is today.

Do you like Laphroaig 18 YO and can get it for a decent price? If I were you, I would buy all I can afford, put it in a box, and stick it in a closet. In 5 years, you will be patting yourself on the back. I currently have multiple bottles of anything I consider great.

11 years ago 3Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Onibubba, yep, like you I've been putting away the favourites for a couple of years now. We could probably drink 20+ plus years on our stocks.

11 years ago 0

@teebone673
teebone673 replied

@FMichael nice pickup on the Balvenie 15 for $55. That's a great find. Enjoy, my friend!

11 years ago 0

@cpstecroix
cpstecroix replied

Yes...unfortunately my salary isn't increasing quite as quickly ;-)

11 years ago 1Who liked this?

@cjkocher
cjkocher replied

Onibubba and Victor--mind if I stop by? One thing I have noticed in my area is how inconsistent prices are from store to store. One store might have a really good price on a particular whisky but be much higher on another than other stores. I live in a fairly small town, and bottles here are often $5-10 higher than in bigger stores that are a bit of a drive, so any savings would be spent on gas. I guess stocking up would make sense! Several years ago a store in Sioux Falls had Lagavulin 16 at $60 (not on sale--their regular price), while just about every other store was selling it for $80. Now they're up to $76.

11 years ago 0

@two_bitcowboy

@cpstecroix Yeah! Makes you wonder where all those extra dollars are going. Nobody's wages seem to ascend as quickly as the price of whisky. Makes me think I should buy Diageo stock instead of any of Diageo's whiskies.

11 years ago 2Who liked this?

@PeterG7
PeterG7 replied

My two cents worth. There is only one thing that drives the price of any product, be it a car or whisky. It's the cost of getting it to the consumer. At every stage, someone has to profit from the product. The cost of actually making the whisky or a car for that matter is relatively speaking, pretty minor. However, once its on its way, it's a whole different ballgame. There is transportation costs (airplane, road, ship) passed to us, Everyone who touches that shipment gets a slice of the pie. Then the taxes are added and they aren't just the sales tax. Finally, that 25 dollar original product shows up on the shelf with a 150.00 price tag. Meanwhile, unknown to us, the distiller decides to up grade their poduction line (cost will be passed on to us) transport cost increase (passed on to us) a country increases their tax (passed on to us). Everyone who got this product to market got a raise (passed on to us. Two years ago I bought a new car. The other day, I was in having it serviced. New model was in the showroom. Absolutely, no change to the model. However, price was 3000 higher...go figure, The cost to produce it increased, cost passed on to us. The end result, we as the consumer, choose to pay or walk away. So, our decision "To buy, or not to buy, that is the question"

11 years ago 0

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@FMichael@Nolinske